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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 August 2007, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Nigeria illegal toothpaste alert
Colgate toothpaste tubes
Shops that fail to destroy the toothpaste will be prosecuted
Nigerian authorities are cracking down on all foreign-manufactured toothpaste following the discovery of a harmful agent in a Chinese-made brand.

National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control says it has found anti-freezing agent diethylene glycol (DEG) in Chinese-made Colgate.

All retailers are to destroy all foreign-manufactured toothpastes on their shelves, Nafdac says.

Retailers who fail to destroy the illegal toothpaste will be prosecuted.

'No guarantee'

DEG can cause abdominal pains, nausea, vomiting, damage to kidneys and liver and, if ingested in large amounts, can be fatal, head of Nafdac Dora Akunyili told the BBC News website.

Head of Nafdac Dora Akunyili
Only made in Nigeria toothpastes are safe for public use
Nafdac's Dora Akunyili

Nafdac warned Nigerians not to patronise any foreign-manufactured toothpaste as it cannot guarantee their safety.

"No foreign toothpaste is registered for use in Nigeria," Mrs Akunyili said.

"Only made in Nigeria toothpastes are safe for public use."

There are no known cases of people falling sick after using foreign-made toothpastes in Nigeria.

But Mrs Akunyili said the growing cases of kidney and liver damage "may not be unconnected with these illegal toothpastes even though we have no proof of a direct connection at the moment".

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